From William Saroyan's whimsical novella comes a love story about an optimistic young man, his ideal girl and two invisible tigers. Together they make beautiful music; separated they're adrift.
Served up with the sounds of beat and jazz, the world premiere of "Tracy's Tiger" will open at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 31, in Oregon Shakespeare Festival's New Theatre, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland.
The creative team who will be bringing the show to the stage is Linda Alper, Douglas Langworthy, Penny Metropulos (adaptors of OSF's 1999 production of "The Three Musketeers") and Sterling Tinsley. The director is Penny Metropulos.
The play is set in the late 1950s in San Francisco. Saroyan's young lovers are surrounded by an array of seasoned eccentrics; middle-aged coffee tasters, timid cops, a suburban housewife with the soul of a movie star, a Viennese psychiatrist, a female tiger tamer and a sensationalist reporter for the tabloid press.
The score, with appealing rhythmic and harmonic shifts, is composed by Sterling Tinsley, who also is the music director on the project. Lyrics of the 20 musical songs were created by the team. Jeff Mockus is sound designer; orchestrator is Bruce Monroe and Patdro Harris is choreographer.
Musicians are Sterling Tinsley on keyboards, Bruce McKern on bass, Ed Dunsavage on guitar and Terry Longshore on percussion.
Resident designer William Bloodgood has created the set for a three-quarter thrust stage in the New Theatre, and costumes are by resident designer Deborah M. Dryden.
Other members of the team are assistant director Matthew Ozawa, dramaturg Lue Morgan Douthit, voice and text director Evamarii Johnson, assistant music director Laurie Anne Hunter and stage manager D. Christian Bolender.
The cast features Jeremy Peter Johnson as Thomas Tracy, Laura Morache as Laura Luthy, René Millán as Tiger and Nell Geisslinger as Tigress. Others in the cast are Miriam A. Laube, David Kelly, Brad Whitmore, Michael J. Hume, Richard Farrell, Linda Alper and Juan Rivera LeBron.